Rorate Caeli

Official communiqués on Universae Ecclesiae
The Latin Mass Society

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1. The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales:


The Latin Mass Society has welcomed unequivocally the publication by the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ of its Instruction on the application of the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio, ‘Summorum Pontificum’.

The Instruction is a resounding justification for the work of the LMS and other adherents of the Extraordinary Form in insisting on their right to the Traditional Liturgy and Sacraments of the Church. There are many bishops and priests who should feel chastened for the way they have treated those attached to the Extraordinary Form over the years – as the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger once wrote, they were treated as “lepers”.

However, ‘Summorum Pontificum’ establishes a new and authoritative basis for the reintroduction of the Extraordinary Form into the heart of the Church and the LMS is determined to look forward rather than back.

Just as with ‘Summorum Pontificum’ there is a great deal in the new Instruction which will be teased out with time. And here the LMS notes that the authoritative Latin text of the Instruction is, in crucial areas, more strongly worded than the unofficial English translation.

The LMS draws attention to these selected points:

*The Instruction stresses that ‘Summorum Pontificum’ is the universal law of the Church and cannot be ignored (Art. 2).

*The Instruction confirms that the Extraordinary Form is not a poor relation of the Ordinary Form but is an “expression of the same lex orandi of the Church” “alongside” the ordinary form (Art. 6).

*’Summorum Pontificum’ is “an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff and of his munus for regulating...the Church’s Sacred Liturgy” and offers “to all the faithful” [LMS emphasis] the use of the Extraordinary Form, “effectively guaranteeing...the use of the forma extraordinaria for all who ask for it” (Art. 8), i.e. this is not just for the elderly or those previously attached to the Society of St Pius X.

*The Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ now exercises the power “as hierarchical superior” to decide upon complaints referred to it regarding any “administrative provision of an Ordinary which appears to be contrary to the Motu Proprio” subject to final appeal to the Apostolic Signatura (Art. 10. 1).

*“It is the task of the Diocesan Bishop to undertake all necessary measures to ensure respect for the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite, according to the Motu Proprio, ‘Summorum Pontificum’” (Art. 14).

*A stable group of the faithful who request use of the Extraordinary Form is simply constituted by “some people” who come together and can “be composed of persons coming from different parishes or dioceses” (Art. 15).

*Priests are to be considered “qualified” to offer the Traditional Mass if they have a “basic knowledge” of Latin “and have celebrated it previously”. Among others this would refer to priests who have taught themselves the Old Rite and celebrated it privately or, for example, have learned it at an LMS training course (Art. 20).

*Ordinaries are to offer their clergy training in the Extraordinary Form and are also urged to provide training in the seminaries (Art. 21).

*Dioceses without qualified priests should ask the Traditional Orders such as the Fraternity of St Peter to provide priests or training for diocesan priests (Art. 22).

*The particular law and customs of the 1962 books are protected from subsequent law and therefore such practices as Communion in the hand, Communion under both kinds and female altar servers are not permissible in the Extraordinary Form [LMS emphasis] (Art. 28).

*The Sacred Triduum can be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form and where necessary these celebrations can take place in churches where the Sacred Triduum in the ordinary form is also celebrated (Art. 33).

*Individuals of the religious Orders may use the Order’s liturgical books in effect in 1962 (Art. 34).

Doctor Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, said “This is a wonderful day for the Church. With this Instruction, the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ has confirmed what we all knew – that ‘Summorum Pontificum’ is a gift to the whole Church designed to end the ‘liturgy wars’ and establish the full membership of the Extraordinary Form in the family of rites. The LMS will be urging its diocesan representatives to liaise with the diocesan bishops to maximise the reintroduction of the Old Rite in their dioceses. We will also keep records of any problems so that recourse may be made to the disciplinary function of Ecclesia Dei if necessary. There is a tremendous task to be carried out to improve the standard of liturgy in England and Wales and the LMS pledges its full cooperation in this cause so close to Pope Benedict’s heart”.


  1. Anthony Portelli2:49 PM

    This will be the deth knell to Archbishops and Bishops who hate traditional Catholics.

  2. Joe S3:00 PM

    Here is the statement from the German District of the SSPX:

  3. R. Lofreda3:08 PM

    It is hoped that with this instruction the Archbishop of Malta will stop ignoring pleas made by traditional Catholics.

  4. Mr. Kellmeyer says that is it for the N.O.

  5. Simply to accept the "Ordinary Form"/"Extraordinary Form" terminology is, ipso facto, to cease to be a traditionalist.

  6. Thus spake John Henry Cardinal Jitpring . . . .

  7. hahaha.... Good one. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who rejects this kind of Orwellianism. But on the whole, it's really amazing how readily people are embracing this ordinary/extraordinary nonsense.

  8. Just in a giddy mood today . . . .

  9. Anonymous6:14 PM

    Dear Mr. Claudel:

    It would appear that the L.M.S. of England and Wales has the same interpretation of Art. 28 as the one I proposed: it preserves customary as well as written laws in force in 1962: no Altar girls, no Communion in manu or standing.

  10. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Ah! There you are Jordanes! Okie said you are the last "reasonable voice" left here - giddy and all!


  11. Anonymous6:16 PM

    Only teasing, Jordanes, as I hope you know!


  12. Anonymous6:17 PM

    Dear Jitpring:

    I agree with you 100%. Fortunatlely, we are not bound to accept the idea. So I don't. Teh two Masses are two completely separate Rites. The Pope (or rather old Perl with the Pope's agreement) is dead wrong on this. So what? Let them say what they want. Our task is to see to the restoration of our Mass as essential to the Latin Church. This Instruction helps us to do so. None of the naysayers can on this blog can take that away.


  13. Anonymous6:35 PM

    Allow me to repeat what I said in a post down below this thread, the one having to do with the Pontifical Solemn Mass on May 15th.

    "Maybe what we need is a direct appeal to the Holy Father himself, signed by as many members as signed on to the Rosary Crusade, asking the Holy Father to give impetus to Universae Ecclesiae by celebrating a Pontifical Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the high altar in St. Peter's Basilica. Daily rosaries would be prayed by the members signing the petition for the success of the petition and the Holy Father's pontificate. Would Rorate Caeli spearhead such a petition?"

    LtCol Paul E. Haley, USAF(Ret)

  14. Last reasonable voice, eh? Hmm, no pressure there at all . . . .

  15. Anonymous6:57 PM

    "Teh two Masses are two completely separate Rites. The Pope (or rather old Perl with the Pope's agreement) is dead wrong on this."

    It is things like this that I have a problem with. If we can't trust what the pope says, what good is he? I don't mean that in a disrespectful manner, but I think the folks here (except for Oakie...I hope he makes good on his promise of prayers...only teasing Oakie if you are out there reading) know what I mean.


  16. Henry6:58 PM

    Col. Haley,

    I feel confident that Pope Benedict is out ahead of you and us on this, and that the next step will be a traditional Latin Mass coram Romano Pontifice in St. Peter's. Unlike some of us, perhaps, His Holiness knows that the past forty years of disintegration in the liturgy (as he himself phrased it) can only be reversed in carefully measured steps. (A few more like the past few days, and we should all be as giddy as Jordanes.)

  17. Anonymous7:25 PM

    "I feel confident that Pope Benedict is out ahead of you and us on this, and that the next step will be a traditional Latin Mass coram Romano Pontifice in St. Peter's. "

    What is he waiting for since he is no spring chicken?


  18. Jitpring said...
    Simply to accept the "Ordinary Form"/"Extraordinary Form" terminology is, ipso facto, to cease to be a traditionalist.

    The LMS ceased to be "traditionalist" a long time ago - having two of its training conferences opened by the Novus Ordo is a clear example that it is guided by pragmatism rather than sound principles based on tradition. This is not to deny the good that it is doing, I must add, but people may find the compromises to achieve these results more or less acceptable.

  19. Henry8:06 PM

    Delphina: "What is he waiting for since he is no spring chicken?"

    He is moving at warp speed by Vatican standards. He cannot afford to get out so far ahead of the present bishops as to render his efforts ineffective.

    Why don't we give him credit--and our deepest gratitude--for having already having accomplished far more than, a mere half dozen years ago, none of us thought possible within our lifetimes.

    I personally believe that Pope Benedict already has irreversibly changed the direction of the Church and has set the course for the foreseeable future.

    Of course, those of us who have been in this for most of our lifetimes must have something to complain about, but from here on it probably makes little historical difference at what pace the now inevitable restoration of the Church occurs.

  20. Anonymous8:18 PM

    God bless you, Henry, for what you have written. I am afraid that I have found it hard to shake a certain mentality. Maybe the cotton candy and marshmallow cloud brigade is right -

    The other day I was reading about popes in general and was struck with something that I have known since the first grade but have obviously forgotten much to my shame and eternal regret; that is, the pope is Christ's visible presence in the Church. I don't think I have to add anything else.


  21. Henry8:35 PM


    Thank you. Regarding your last thought, I was struck by the following paragraph in the Instruction:

    8. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum constitutes an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff and of his munus of regulating and ordering the Church’s Sacred Liturgy. The Motu Proprio manifests his solicitude as Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church, and has the aim of:
    a. offering to all the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, considered as a precious treasure to be preserved;
    b. effectively guaranteeing and ensuring the use of the forma extraordinaria for all who ask for it, given that the use of the 1962 Roman Liturgy is a faculty generously granted for the good of the faithful and therefore is to be interpreted in a sense favourable to the faithful who are its principal addressees;
    c. promoting reconciliation at the heart of the Church.

    How long has it been that we have yearned for a Pope to speak so forthrightly, not merely as first in a college of bishops, but as the Vicar of Christ on Earth?

  22. True enough.

    May the lord Pope Benedict, the sixteenth of that name, Vicar of Christ, be granted many more and joyful years at the helm of the Holy Church of God by the Most Holy Trinity, through the intercessions of Our Sovereign Lady and Queen.


  23. Anonymous9:27 PM

    New Catholic,

    Another reasonable voice has been added to the erudite blog Rorate Coeli!

    Move over Jordanes!


  24. @ New Catholic 16 May, 2011 20:42

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

  25. John L10:48 PM

    'It is things like this that I have a problem with. If we can't trust what the pope says, what good is he?'

    Well actually Delphina I think you were right the first time. In this case of 'ordinary/extraordinary' you have to make allowances for the Pope's lack of freedom of manoeuvre and other things, but the fact is that the traditional mass and the novus ordo aren't forms of one and the same rite - a fact that is reflected in other things the pope says and in the whole project of permitting the 1962 missal and other sacraments; if the old and the new are forms of the same rite, as the 1962 was a form of the 1950s missal, this makes no sense at all. I think the pope knows that this is not true, but thinks that admitting that they are different would just be too explosive.

  26. Anonymous11:42 PM

    John L,

    Then they are lying to us, because they say that they are one and the same. The pope shouldn't care if he causes an explosion - that's his job. No one cared about the explosions caused in the sixties. When did they become so solicitous?

    Now I know that the two Masses are not one and the same - my eyes tell me that. Just yesterday, I had to force myself to keep awake at a novus ordo Mass so boring it is. At the TLM, my eyes are riveted toward the priest and what he is doing at the altar, so much so, that even using a missal is a distraction for me. But at the novus ordo...well, words fail me. It wouldn't matter what they did to that Mass, it would still be the banal boring novus ordo Mass. To tell you the truth, the novus ordo Mass is an insult to any Catholic. Imagine! They thought so little of us that they they concocted this kindergarten "liturgy" to pass as the unbloody sacrifice of Calvary.

    And then try to tell us that they are one and the same. If I could talk to the Holy Father that is one of the things I would say to him: "Holiness, what do you take us for, fools?"


  27. Anonymous12:11 AM

    Friends, please read this on true and false obedience:

    Be sure not to commit the fallacy of poisoning the well.

  28. Tessa Benns Drabick1:16 PM

    Now is the time that SSPX, SSPV, CMRI and the rest of sedeprivationists and sedevacantists bury their differences join with their counterparts the FSSP, ICR and the FIUV so that the Papacy is strengthened.

  29. Henry2:15 PM

    Dear Delphina,

    Our Holy Father no more takes us for fools, than is he a fool himself. He is, of course, a genius, in addition to being the Vicar of Christ.

    Let me suggest how his genius shows especially in his two-forms strategy, and why those who obsess over it falling for a red herring.

    I have read nothing from Pope Benedict -- and I believe I have read everything -- that says definitively that the so-called OF and EF are precisely the same rite. But whether or not they really are, is irrelevant to his strategy for the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass to the Church.

    Instead, and altogether different, what he has said is that the OF and EF are to be treated juridically -- in universal Church law -- as though they were forms of the same liturgical rite. This is the precise legal basis for saying that any priest ordained in the Roman rite can say the TLM just as he can say the NO, that this right comes from the law of the Roman rite and not from his bishop, and all the other wonderful things that flow from Summorum Pontificum, including the very restoration of the TLM to the heart of the Church.

    So the legal fiction of the OF/EF is the exact opposite of a problem for traditionalists to whine about. It is the brilliant strategy for their ultimate victory.

    Plainly, Pope Benedict know what will win out in the end when by this strategy he has set the OF and EF "alongside each other" in the Church, for competition on a rapidly leveling playing field.

    So, why can not we all give the present Vicar of Christ the credit he so richly deserves -- for the genius that not all of his predecessors can have possessed. And our unreserved gratitude for the ultimate restoration of the Holy Mass we so love.

  30. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Cause for a little "Anglican patrimony", perhaps:

    Almighty and eternal Father, who hast set Benedict our Pope as Pastor over thy whole Church, and hast made him to be a faithful steward of her treasures, both old and new; we beseech thee graciously to consider our humble thanksgiving for the same and, of thy great mercy, to pour upon him thy continual favour; that we, worthily celebrating the holy mysteries of thy temple, may together with him be brought at last unto that everlasting worship of thee in heaven which thou createdst us from the beginning to offer; through Jesus Christ thine only Son, our Lord, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end,


  31. Anonymous4:37 PM


    "So, why can not we all give the present Vicar of Christ the credit he so richly deserves -- for the genius that not all of his predecessors can have possessed. And our unreserved gratitude for the ultimate restoration of the Holy Mass we so love."

    Quite right. I have spent part of my morning in front of the Blessed Sacrament pondering the phrase "Vicar of Christ" and all that it means. As I wrote elsewhere on this blog, I have lost sight of both its meaning and implications. What I do and say against Pope Benedict XVI, I do and say against Our Lord. I am so ashamed of myself.

    Say a prayer for me, Henry.


  32. Henry5:08 PM

    And you please pray for me, Delphina. And let us both pray for all those (millions, I fear) whose salvation has been imperiled by the spiritual abuse they have suffered in the past forty years.


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